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Is the CIO-CMO transition of power becoming a reality?

Tom Kaneshige | Oct. 15, 2014
Three years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2017 CMOs will spend more money on IT than CIOs. All signs indicate that shift is well underway.

For starters, CMOs must deal with an increasingly fragmented identity and attribution problem.

The tech savvy consumer may use a half-dozen smart devices throughout the day: phone, tablet, PC, laptop, television, maybe wearables. Marketers must not only find and identify a consumer across these devices but deliver a seamless experience. For example, a consumer might conduct an initial product search on a mobile device while waiting for a bus after work, watch an advertisement for the product on television at home, and then execute the order on a tablet at midnight.

Then the CMO has to justify to the CEO and CFO why the dollars spent on multi-device marketing makes sense -- that is, how every piece played a role in the sales conversion. "This is an attribution problem," Garg says.

Identity's twin sister is personalization, or rather delivering a personalized customer experience. Before, a consumer would walk into a Banana Republic clothing store and have the same experience as everyone else. But that's not what consumers expect online; people get annoyed seeing an advertisement on their Facebook page that has nothing to do with them.

"Consumers have very little patience today. They expect the perfectly tailored experience, and they want it now," Garg says. "Five years ago, the technology to do real-time targeting, real-time personalization didn't exist."

How Tech Is Changing the Ad Game
Programmatic media buying, whereby technology automatically bids on online display advertising, is another example of the martech market moving at lightning speed. The technology digs through mountains of customer data in order to track and target them online. Today, roughly 20 percent of display ads, 10 percent of video ads and practically no television ads are sold programmatically -- but that's changing.

"Five years from now, all media will be bought programmatically," Garg says, echoing the opinion of other martech industry watchers. "There's no reason why the traditional model for buying and selling media should exist. It's archaic and irrelevant."

The advertising game is changing not just in the way ad space is bought and sold but the kind of content as well. Whether it's original content or aggregated content, video or tweets, over mobile devices or high-def television sets, the bottom line is that digital content must be substantive and give consumers real value. No longer can, say, cosmetic advertising be just about sexy images, rather there must be authentic content that describes the product, such as a fact-based statement that no animals were harmed in the making of it.

"Thematically, every brand that is an advertiser today will be a publisher tomorrow," Garg says. "It's going to be an increasing share of their marketing spend."


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